Keep your toenails clipped. Toenails that are even an eighth of an inch too long can jam against the inside of your shoes. The result can be serious pain and black toenails. Be careful to snip the sides of each nail as well. This prevents a sharp nail from rubbing a neighboring toe.
Experiment with a foot lubricating product. A “slippery” foot is much less likely to create blisters and lesions. Hydropel is a good, though expensive, concoction available from specialty running stores. Drug store salves like BagBalm or Vaseline can also work. Slather the salve on your toes and heels, and then pull your sock on. Besides creating a lubed, lower-friction environment, salves keep water from saturating your skin. I also like to put powder in my socks before putting them on. This seems to work at keeping my feet dry and I like the way it feels.
Tie your shoes tightly, but not too tight. A tight-fitting shoe keeps your foot in place, lessening chances of your footwear rubbing the wrong way. Your toes should have some room to spread out inside your shoe and they should never contact the shoe’s front. Your heel, ankle, arch, and other parts of the foot should be snug to protect your feet.
If you feel a “hot spot” starting or if you feel discomfort on your foot, immediately stop and see what’s going on. A “hot spot” is the precursor to a blister, and if treated, this can prevent problems. You can apply duct tape or medical tape directly onto a hot spot, sticky side down on the skin. Moleskin and bandages are other options, though they often shift after going a few miles.
2. October was Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Breast cancer remains the most common type of cancer among women. Survival rates get better when breast cancer is detected early. Some of the risk factors are: obesity, lack of exercise, alcohol use, and long term use (more than 5 years) of menopausal hormone therapy.
Avoid becoming overweight. Obesity raises your risk after menopause.
Work out. There’s is strong evidence that exercise has an important protective effect.
Drink no more than one alcoholic drink per day.
Don’t put off screening because of potential discomfort or fear. It’s essential to know how your breasts feel normally and to know your family history.
3. Too much sitting can compromise your health! It’s a matter of gravity.
If you sit a lot during your day, you are a lot like an astronaut! When astronauts are in space they lengthen. They stretch out because nothing is pulling them down. When they return to earth gravity takes over and their backs compress. On earth, muscles that support the spine that were not used in space due to weightlessness are now faced with gravity. Their job on earth is to prevent vertebrae from slamming against each other.
This is what happens when you sit. Sitting is equivalent to what happens when you quit using gravity. When you stand up gravity pulls on your body from head to toe. We must learn to use gravity because it’s how nature works. We never want to lose the benefits that our core, spine, and other muscles receive when we stand.
It’s common sense to think that sitting too much can cause a sore back, but sitting too much has also been linked to raising your blood pressure and obesity. Also, if you slump in your chair, or round your shoulders forward, it’s easy to see why you might have back and neck pain. Posture is important when you sit, so pay attention to it.
So get out of your chair and stand up. Get up every 20-30 minutes and just stand. You don’t even need to walk around, though it would probably feel good. Set an alarm to remind you, post a note at your desk or enlist a co-worker and prompt each other.
4. Do you like figs? I do and I think they are fabulous. OK, I also like alliteration! There are more than 150 varieties of figs, but mostly we are familiar with Mission and Calimyrna figs. Both are pear-shaped with a chewy texture and seeds providing a crunchy taste. They can be eaten fresh or dried.
Figs are a good source of calcium, magnesium, potassium and iron and are high in simple sugar and fiber. Dried figs can be purchased year round and stored in a cabinet for months. You can use them in a salad with yogurt or goat cheese. You can puree them and use them as a spread.
Here’s a recipe for Fabulous Fig Squares. The quinoa and almond meal provide extra protein.
2 cups dried figs chopped
1 cup apple juice
1/2 cup honey
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup quinoa flakes or quick-cooking oats
1 cup brown rice flour
1 cup almond meal
1/4 cup whole cane sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
Place all filling ingredients in medium saucepan. Simmer until dark and thick (about one hour). Allow mixture to cool. To prepare crust, place dry ingredients into a food processor. Combine and add butter and pulse until dough resembles coarse meal. Add egg and pulse. Divide dough in half. Lightly oil 8-9 inch square baking dish. Spread half the dough in the bottom of baking dish. Spread filling over dough. Evenly crumble remaining dough over fig filling. Bake in 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until crust is golden. Allow to cool. This should make about 16 squares.
*** I’ve never given out a recipe before, so if you are not the Fabulous Fig Square type, go ahead and get some Fig Newtons! They are delicious too!
I’ve much to be thankful for in this month of Thanksgiving, and my Joyinmovement readers sit atop that list!